GWC Injury Lawyers attorney Donn P. LaHaie recently obtained a $254,727.79 workers’ compensation settlement for a truck driver who seriously injured his right knee while on the job. In arguing on behalf of his client, Mr. LaHaie pointed out that he was a candidate for future surgical correction because of complications from his initial surgery.
On May 2, 2016, Mr. LaHaie’s client was attempting to climb up the ladder on the back of his truck when he overextended his right knee. Subsequent imaging revealed that he suffered from a torn medial meniscus. The client then underwent a surgical correction, followed by a course of physical therapy. He was off of work following this surgery.
The client subsequently experienced complications from his surgery. Specifically, he suffered from constant pain in his right knee, a condition that his surgery should have corrected. The client’s persistent pain was so pronounced that his doctors recommended an additional surgery to correct it in the form of a tissue/ligament transplant.
“My client is reluctant to have another surgery,” Mr. LaHaie said, “so he has chosen so far to forgo having it at this time. But future surgery is still a distinct possibility, and the fact that it looms in his future helped me further my negotiations with his company’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier.”
The client’s doctors also determined that his injuries and his post-surgical complications prevented him from ever returning to his work as a truck driver. Because the client would need to find a different line of work, likely at a lower rate of pay, Mr. LaHaie encouraged him to begin looking for a replacement profession so that his wage differential could be determined.
Under Illinois workers’ compensation law, a person who is unable to return to his or her former line of work because of permanent disability incurred as a result of a job-related injury is entitled to wage different benefits. Wage differential benefits are designed to make up for the economic impairment of the reduced wages that an injured worker is able to earn at a new job that is different from the one that he or she can no longer do because of a work injury. The benefits should be equivalent to two-thirds of the difference between the average wages an employee is earning when he or she is injured and what he or she would be expected to earn at a job accommodating his or her post-injury work restrictions. Because Mr. LaHaie’s client would have to leave his lifelong profession as a truck driver because of his work injuries and likely work at a lower-paying profession, wage differential benefits would factor into any workers’ compensation settlement.
Large Settlement and Future Plans
Because of his client’s permanent post-work injury pain, his future of lower paying wages, and the likelihood of additional surgery, Mr. LaHaie was able to negotiate a workers’ compensation settlement in the amount of $254,727.79 for his client.
“He was very happy with the settlement,” Mr. LaHaie said. “In fact, he told me he is going to use the money to start his own transportation business.”
Workers’ Compensation Claims
Workers’ compensation claims can be complicated. Many injured workers find that they benefit from the guidance of an experienced and knowledgeable workers’ compensation attorney, like the workers’ compensation attorneys at GWC Injury Lawyers, Illinois’ largest Workers’ Compensation and Personal Injury law firm.
If you have been injured in the workplace, please contact GWC today to schedule a free consultation with one of our workers’ compensation attorneys. Call our office at (312) 464-1234 or click here to chat with one of our representatives.